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Want a happy union?

Husbands take the lead, as wives lovingly submit

Sunday, September 27, 2020

SOMEONE taking the lead, even if it means consulting with others, is a normal course of human operations.

In government and at work, headship has great merits. Within marriage, it should be no different.

The thing is, based on how headship has been exercised, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many, and many chafe under it. When exercised correctly, not only can headship be refreshing, but it makes sense, since two captains jostling for control at the steering wheel will likely undermine the safety and well-being of both themselves and those under their watch.

Yes, lives are at risk of shipwreck. How can couples, therefore, prevent their relationship from going under?

Loving headship, not dictatorship

A husband's exercise of his headship can mean a happy or sad marriage. Husbands should exercise this role in a benevolent way. This means marriage should not be a place for despots or totalitarian figures who are often feared, but instead a husband who consults and who is loving, reasonable, approachable, and mild-tempered so as to get the best out of his partner.

Earned not demanded

Husbands need not demand respect of their wives. Respect will flow naturally when they take the lead in showing respect to their wives, recognising that women, by and large, are more delicate than men, and that like a chinaware vessel, they are to be treated as such.

Men are to show consideration for their wives. This means, in the public and private domain, husbands should speak kindly and compassionately about the actions of their wives, whose loving respect will then be easily won. A man who speaks negatively about his wife ends up causing this to reflect very badly on himself.

Following the lead

We are under obligation to listen to the authority of our bodies when asked to carry out bodily functions. And even at times when we do not want to, we recognise that it is for our benefit.

Similarly, wives are to endeavour to follow the lead of their husbands. How can this be done? A submissive wife will cooperate with and be supportive of the husband. She will not actively or tacitly be looking for ways to undermine him.

There may be times a husband has to take a decision that realistically may not always be to the liking of the wife, however, if this is not endangering her life and well-being, she should willingly go ahead with it. And even where a decision taken by a husband fails, the wife tries not to rub it in or use it against him.

Following the lead lovingly

It's one thing for wives to submit, but it is a gem when they lovingly do so. A wife is in no way inferior to her husband and must never get that impression. She is, however, a partner.

Consequently, she searches out ways to play her role by giving valuable input in family decisions and will, in a respectful way, express her thoughts and feelings about a matter, even as a wise husband will give careful consideration to his wife's expressions and reservations.

It takes two to make the marriage work. Husbands do well to lovingly take the lead, while wives lovingly submit. When both partners strive for these, it promotes joy, peace, and harmony in the family.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language Teaching and Research Centre.